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Best Optometry Schools in the US

If you are interested in studying Optometry in the United States, but you are still confused about how to identify the best optometry schools that will be good for your study, then this article is for you.

We will be listing out the 10 best optometry schools in the United States and also discuss some of them in this article, to help you in picking the school that is best for you.


There is no getting around it. It is difficult to land a job in healthcare. Regardless of their discipline, those who care for the health of others must prove that they have the smarts and the skills to be doctors, and that means going to a reputable med school.

Once you get into medical school, you will face a whole host of challenges. Students must maintain excellent grades, must pass stressful exams, and must perform well in clinical situations.

But it pays off in the end. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that optometrists make on average $118,050 every year and that the field will grow by 4% over the next few years.

Not only will future optometrists make good money, but they’ll be likely to get a good job when they graduate. See Best Physical Therapy Schools in the US.

That reassuring fact will hopefully keep you going during the toughest parts of optometry school when you’re being challenged mentally and physically.

Here are the best optometry school in the United States according to “ultimate pass rates” of optometry board exams as reported by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.

  • Southern College of Optometry
  • Arizona College of Optometry at Midwestern University – Glendale
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry
  • Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry
  • SUNY College of Optometry
  • Ohio State University College of Optometry
  • University of Missouri at St. Louis College of Optometry
  • Illinois College of Optometry
  • UC Berkeley School of Optometry
  • University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Optometry

1. Southern College of Optometry

Although it was founded in 1932, the Southern College of Optometry refuses to sit idle. As recently as 2013, the school underwent a $9.4 million expansion that outfitted its facilities with state-of-the-art technology.

The school also features The Eye Center, a teaching facility that provides students with hands-on clinical experience serving the 60,000 patients who visit.

Unsurprisingly, almost all of the 136 students accepted each year graduate from the program, giving Southern College of Optometry an unprecedented 98.5% pass rate.

Also, unsurprisingly, those who graduate from Southern College of Optometry include the leaders in the field of optometry, including fourteen American Optometric Association presidents.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1 and more than 60 endowed scholarships awarded each year, it’s easy to see why Southern College of Optometry students stay at the school. They get the support and attention they need to become the nation’s best optometrists. 

2. Arizona College of Optometry at Midwestern University – Glendale

Not only do 98% of students in the Arizona College of Optometry ultimately pass their exams, but 92.7% pass part I of the NBEO exam and 100% pass NBEO part II.

That impressive group of learners boasts a 3.53 average GPA and a 624 average OAT score. But these students do not succeed on their own; rather, they are backed by Arizona College of Optometry’s accomplished faculty and their cutting-edge research resources.

Arizona College of Optometry’s faculty includes contributors to top journals and fellows in the American Academy of Optometry, who are supported by awards such as a recent $100,000 grant.

Furthermore, the program provides students with clinical rotations in community faculties and pre-clinical simulations to make them into the best healthcare providers that they can be.

Students planning to join this remarkable program should not only work to earn high grades in their undergrad science courses.

But they should also gain as much experience as possible working with a practicing optometrist, which the admission board values.

3). University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry

Last year, University of Alabama at Birmingham received more than $325 million in research grants from the NIH, much of which went to the School of Optometry.

With that kind of support, it should come as no surprise that University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Optometry is one of the best in the discipline.

Offering hands-on clinical training at the first-class University of Alabama at Birmingham Eye Care center, the School of Optometry equips future vision care specialists with both the knowledge and experience they’ll need to serve their community.

Those excellent resources are good news for those in the Birmingham area and beyond, as the school graduates 97.87% of the students in the program.

Not only do these doctors go on to provide excellent care for their patients, but they also continue their alma mater’s excellent research, even winning their own NIH grants while still a student at the UAB School of Optometry.

4). Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry

Students at the College of Optometry at Nova Southeastern University split their time between two years of science instruction and two years of clinical studies.

But no matter what section of studies they are in, students enjoy unprecedented support from the school, from funding for international mission trips to advanced technology for all attendees.

Furthermore, the school boasts faculty that includes fellows in the American Academy of Optometry and leaders in the field of ocular testing.

Most importantly for this list, Nova Southeastern University’s College of Optometry has an excellent 97.62% pass rate.

Those numbers show that the school takes its mission statement seriously, working to “prepare, educate and train optometric physicians to practice at the highest level of proficiency, integrity, and professionalism.”

With class sizes of 94 students per year, Nova is equipping the southeast with an impressive group of optometrists.

5. SUNY College of Optometry

SUNY only accepts 23% of the students who apply to their College of Optometry, making it one of the most exclusive on this list.

The school has high expectations for its incoming class, demanding an average 3.5 GPA and an average OAT score of 345.

But almost everyone who makes it into the program also makes it through the program, giving the school a pass rate of 96.84%. Students within the program are supported by $4 million in annual funding for research programs.

Over its 50-year history, SUNY’s College of Optometry has graduated some remarkable doctors, but its recent alumni include the 2019 American Optometric Association (AOA) Optometrist of the Year and the winner of the 2019 Johnson & Johnson Vision Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care.


All you have read in this article was written the best optometry Schools in the United States. It was written to help aspirants in making their choice of school without stress.

You can send your questions pertaining to this article to us via the comment section, as our team will be there to give adequate answers to them.

Last Updated on June 26, 2023 by Admin

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